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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN * SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB * IND at NO * SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA * KC at OAK * STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
*UPDATED GB at MIN * PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

Prediction: STL 10, DAL 34

Players to Watch: Mark Clayton, Brandon Lloyd

Update: Mark Clayton was not yet activated from the PUP list and will not obviously be playing. Sam Bradford is listed as questionable and missed practice on Friday so he becomes a game time decision which is heavily expected to remain A.J. Feeley for the starter this week.

The Rams bring their 0-5 record to Dallas and yet probably not their starting quarterback. The Cowboys are no doubt pissed about yet another close game that got away. Normally you would worry about the home team mailing in the game against a wounded and winless team, but the Cowboys at home could really use a punching bag around now.

St. Louis Rams
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 13-31 10 @CLE -
2 @NYG 16-28 11 SEA -
3 BAL 7-37 12 ARI -
4 WAS 10-17 13 @SF -
5 Bye - 14 @SEA -
6 @GB 3-24 15 CIN -
7 @DAL - 16 @PIT -
8 NO - 17 SF -
9 @ARI -      
Rams Report | Statistics | Roster
ST. LOUIS at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB A.J. Feeley - - 220,1
RB Steven Jackson 50 30 -
TE Lance Kendricks - 20 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 40 -
WR Mark Clayton - 30 -
WR Brandon Gibson - 30,1 -
WR Danario Alexander - 40 -
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Rams finally did not score only one touchdown in a game - in Green Bay they could not even get that. But they did lose their starting quarterback. They also traded for Brandon Lloyd to reunite him with OC Josh McDaniels under which he went from career ne'er-do-well to a 31 year old stud. That will all come together in a week or two once Sam Bradford is healthy but for this week, the Rams have to sort through all their parts and figure out what goes where.

QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford has a high ankle sprain and is likely to miss this week. It would not have mattered that much since the Rams only had three passing scores in five games and never more than one per outing. A.J. Feeley now takes the reins and while he has a nice matchup in theory, the Cowboys at home will be bringing the heat and wanting to win big for once.

Bradford was mediocre at best this year and now Feeley gets the start. He could end up with a score and may even have decent yardage but the risk is high and he is not a good fantasy play this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson comes off his best game of the year when he rushed for 96 yards on 18 carries and added 29 more yards on four catches in Green Bay. He is just now getting completely healthy but heads into Dallas where the Cowboys have one of the NFL's best rushing defense.

The Cowboys have only allowed one rushing touchdown this year and no runner has topped 58 yards against them no matter the venue. Jackson also has to contend with a backup quarterback so consider Jackson more likely to have a down game. He always has the chance of popping a long run but overall this should be one of his worst games. He should add some value as a receiver as well though.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This week is a big unknown on the road with a backup quarterback, But in the coming weeks, there should be big changes here and for the better. Mark Clayton comes off the PUP list and may play this week. Newly acquired and hopeful savior Brandon Lloyd should also get playing time. That mixes into Danario Alexander and Brandon Gibson who already start and Greg Salas who has won back the slot receiver role and will likely lose it again maybe by next week.

So you have a backup quarterback throwing to maybe five receivers including two who will play for the first time. That's too many variables to expect any individual to have a nice game though one or more could turn in fantasy relevant stats. The Cowboys are far better in pass defense now and even Tom Brady only had 289 yards on them in New England and they held Wes Welker to only 45 yards. Having Feeley and this gaggle of receivers to pick from and you should just stay away. I am awarding the touchdown only as a placeholder. No telling where it goes if it even happens.

TIGHT ENDS: None have scored this year and Lance Kendricks usually tops out at 30 yards per game. No fantasy value this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 30 32 22 27 30 26
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 15 3 12 31 27 26


Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 24-27 10 BUF -
2 @SF 27-24 11 @WAS -
3 WAS 18-16 12 MIA -
4 DET 30-34 13 @ARI -
5 Bye - 14 NYG -
6 @NE 16-20 15 @TB -
7 STL - 16 PHI -
8 @PHI - 17 @NYG -
9 SEA -      
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo - - 330,3
RB DeMarco Murray 60 10 -
TE Jason Witten - 60 -
WR Laurent Robinson - 40 -
WR Dez Bryant - 80,2 -
WR Miles Austin - 110,1 -
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: Tough loss #3. The Cowboys have come within four points of beating the Jets, Lions and Patriots and led late in all three games. Most notable was the decision with four minutes left to play and the ball on their own 20-yard line, the Cowboys elected to NOT throw the ball at all and end up punting back to the Pats so they could have their game winning drive. The Cowboys have the parts to win, just not the killer instinct. This week is a great opportunity to get some confidence by drubbing a visiting 0-5 team that just lost their quarterback.

I like a defensive score in this game.

QUARTERBACK: Tony Romo comes off his fourth 300+ yard game of the year but only has eight touchdowns against six interceptions. The Cowboys inability to punch the ball in has been a factor in every loss He's been solid as a fantasy starter though with big yardage every week and usually multiple scores. The Rams have allowed 11 touchdowns in their five games and decent quarterbacks have turned in three touchdowns and big yardage.

The Cowboys won't need it to win, but do need to roll up a big score at least once this year. Look for a nice game here by Romo who will not have Felix Jones to help this week either. The Rams are #32 against wide receivers - consider that a rather good thing this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Felix Jones is nursing a high ankle sprain this time and will not play. That leaves DeMarco Murray as the running back free agent gem in your league but so far Murray has not done much. He has 24 carries on the season for only 71 yards and a 3.0 yard per carry average. He has not scored yet but then again the Cowboys as a team have only scored once via a running back and that was in the season opener.

Murray gets the benefit of playing at home against a bad team and should end up with decent yardage but there is no guarantee here. Tashard Choice will also factor in and the Cowboys were one of the worst teams for running backs before Felix Jones left.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Miles Austin played against the Patriots and gained 74 yards on seven catches in his first game back since week two. He did not worsen his lingering hamstring problem and will still be treating it during the week. It is not expected to hamper him though. Dez Bryant only caught four passes in New England for 78 yards and no score but he is almost entirely over is quad injury that allowed him to play back in week four when he had two scores on only three receptions against the Lions. Laurent Robinson returned to the slot last week where he may never again have any fantasy value beyond waiting for the next starter to get injured.

This is the worst ranked defense against wide receivers and that should be music to the ears of Austin and Bryant owners. Expect both to turn in big games with a score for each - or more.

TIGHT ENDS: Oddly enough, the Rams rank as one of the best against tight ends and that is after facing Fred Davis (4-34) and Jermichael Finley (1-20). The problem is that the wide outs are so successful that the tight ends are not used much. Jason Witten is still worthy of a start since Romo will rely on him but if he has a bad game - expect the wideouts to have even more fun. No tight end has scored on the Rams and none have more than 51 yards in a game against them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 7 27 4 4 2 12
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 25 26 32 2 16 32

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB IND at NO SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA KC at OAK STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
  GB at MIN PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

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